In the fall of 2012, I embarked on an adventure in Spain to walk 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. Like every other journey in my life, I departed without any expectations and tried to let the trip unfold in a natural manner. I had taken many trips before and many after but for some reason, the walk in 2012 seemed to be a Mount Everest experience. It was a life bending trip and I have completely enjoyed every additional step on my fresh and altered path.
Prior to the first step, I never envisioned writing a book, doing over 150 public speaking events, and writing a weekly blog post. It all just seemed to fall into place and felt like the right thing to do at the time. The personal fulfillment from these activities has been overwhelming. At least once a week, I receive an email from a stranger that walked the trail after reading my book. To know that I put one person on the path makes the entire endeavor worthwhile.
Many people think that walking the Camino ends when arriving at the cathedral in Santiago. A major lesson in my life is that there is never the proverbial ending and instead; we accumulate experience that influences our next step. There are two ways to take the beauty out of the current step. One is to waste time evaluating the last one and the other is to fantasize about what may happen on the next one. Always endeavor to stay in the moment.
Over the past four years, I tried to take an experience from the previous week in my life, added a spiritual twist, and shared a story via my blog posts. I missed a total of eight weeks, four in Bhutan without internet access and four on my second Camino. The cumulative word count in my blog posts is well over 120,000 which is more than two times the words in my book. This is my 212th and final installment. From time to time, I may quench my insatiable desire to write, but the regularity of a weekly post ends today.
I have written a set of common themes that have been packaged and repackaged around many life situations. For a very simple summary and a final set of comments, please try to live your life by being present in the current moment. Time in the past and future just rob from the only moment we can really enjoy. Stop worrying about what may or may not happen. 99.9% is beyond your control and therefore not worthy of a single mind cycle. Stop getting upset about things that happen because they have already happened and cannot be changed. Let go of everything. A plane cannot fly with cement attached to the wings. A life cannot be lived with attachments to everything. Let go of failed relationships, previous successes, fears, material items, yesterday, tomorrow, clutter, envy, ego, and any other metaphorical cement that prevents liftoff. Clean out your mental backpack and travel with a simple change of clothes. There is really not much more required. Be open to new experiences and let people into your life. We all have a gift to share or receive. Solitude does not foster exchange. Be kind to everyone, never harbor anger, and start a yoga practice.
Thank you for letting me into your hearts and minds to share my stories during the past four years.